Immune Modulation in Heart Failure: the Promise of Novel Biologics

  • Paulino Alvarez
  • Alexandros Briasoulis
Heart Failure (W Tang, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Heart Failure


Purpose of review

Immune system activation plays a central role in heart failure progression. Large-scale immune modulatory clinical trials targeting tumor necrosis factor-α and broad spectrum immune modulation have been negative. The objective of this review is to highlight past, present, and what is in the horizon for the immunomodulation in heart failure with a focus of biologics.

Recent findings

Strategies targeting interleukin-1 pathway are currently undergoing clinical evaluation and data from pilot studies are promising. The potential of cell therapy for immune modulation is increasingly recognized in clinical trials. Strategies targeting anti-cardiac antibodies such as immunoadsorption and intravenous immunoglobulin have been used in clinical practice with positive outcomes but large pragmatic clinical trials are lacking. The use of an aptamer to block anti-cardiac antibodies is undergoing phase 1 clinical evaluation. Promising targets include inflammasomes, toll-like receptors, chemokines, natural killer cells, and macrophages.


Large-scale immune modulatory clinical trials have been negative. Nevertheless, the experience gained from them along with increasing understanding of molecular mechanisms of immune pathophysiology in heart failure is leading to rapid recognition of new therapeutic targets and approaches.


Heart failure Inflammation Immunomodulation 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Section of Heart Failure and TransplantUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA

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